OVER THE PAST few years, Uber has schemed to boost its self-driving efforts by spying on rivals, poaching staff, and acquiring their software, according to newly released court documents. Though competitor intelligence work is standard among large companies, the details are rarely made public.
In the long-running Waymo v. Uber lawsuit, Uber stands accused of stealing and using trade secrets from Alphabet’s self-driving car division to boost its own, younger program. New documents filed in federal court this week focus on the activities of Uber’s Strategic Services Group (SSG), an eight-person group within the company’s Threat Operation division, dedicated to collecting intelligence on competitors. A former ThreatOps employee has claimed that SSG frequently engaged in fraud and theft, and employed third-party vendors to obtain unauthorized data or information.